Culver Down, and its most prominent landmark the Yarborough Monument, is visible from most of the area. You can either access it by road from the main Bembridge to Sandown road, or by foot from Whitecliff Bay or Sandown.
“The views from the summit of this down are of extraordinary splendour. Looking back over Brading Haven, and inland, they are as diversified as they are extensive; forward, the unbroken view over the sea extends to an amazing distance; eastward, the Sussex coast lies like a faint cloud on the distant horizon; while westward, Sandown Bay, with its reddish clay banks circling the light green waves, and softly swelling hills above, may be looked on from day to day with ever new pleasure.” (Nelsons Illustrated Handbook to the Isle of Wight. 1877)
More than 135 years after the above paragraph was written, the views from Bembridge Down remain as magnificent as ever.
At the car park east of Bembridge Fort, you will find a stone column with a map on top giving details of prominent features you might see. A walk along the down allows you to take in the views and explore the other sites. Please note, that the edge of the down has steep cliffs, do not be tempted to climb over the fences for better views.
At the eastern end of the downs, Bembridge Fort was build in the 1800’s as a defence against French invasion. The National Trust organises tours of the fort, lasting approximately 1½ hours; these are held every Tuesday from April to October, the cost is £3.50 (including National Trust members) and bookings must be made in advance.
To book, or for more details, please phone the National Trust Isle of Wight office on (01983) 741020 or send them an email.
Constructed in 1848/9 the obelisk was erected in memory of Charles Anderson Pelham, Earl Yarborough, 1780 – 1846. Originally located further to the west, when Bembridge Fort was built the monument was moved to its present location.
The circular loop in the road at the eastern end of the down marks the site of the Culver Gun Battery, built the the late 1800’s, this was also part of the defences of the eastern Solent against possible invasion by the French. Today the large fortified gun emplacements can still be seen.